The ongoing Rs 4,355-crore Punjab-Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank fraud has left many people in lurch, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) placed directions on the bank, and account holders could not withdraw their money. The scam unfolded after the bank's former MD Joy Thomas and chairman Waryam Singh were taken into custody by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), unearthing its nexus with the real estate development company HDIL. Here's how the case unfolded. Pic/Suresh KK
On September 23, the RBI putting restrictions on the bank, enabling account holders to withdraw not more than Rs 1000 for six months. The bank was directed to not renew existing loans or sanction new ones. This decision threw consumers into a frenzy, as they queued up outside the bank’s ATMs, demanding their money. Pic/Sameer Markande
Customers lined up outside the banks to withdraw their money and filed complaints against top officials, while the bank’s suspended MD Joy Thomas assured them that their money was safe.
Several government employees have their salary accounts in the PMC bank. The Central Railway (CR) sent a letter to the divisional railway manager and asked them to pay employees through cheques. Meanwhile, on September 26, RBI increased the withdrawal amount to Rs 10,000. Pic/Suresh Karkera
On September 27, Joy Thomas said the bank had approached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on September 19 to seek help to regularise unclassified loans worth Rs 2,500 crore for the past seven years.
On September 30, a first information report (FIR) was registered against Thomas, the bank’s former chairman Waryam Singh and other directors of PMC bank, along with HDIL directors Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan. The FIR mentions that loans granted to the HDIL group and others during 2008-2019 were not paid back. Pic/PTI
EOW arrested Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan on October 2 for allegedly siphoning off Rs 6,500 crore in unreturned loans via several dummy accounts, former PMC MD Thomas on October 3 and former chairman Waryam Singh on October 4.
On October 3, the RBI also increased the withdrawal limits for depositors to Rs 25,000 from Rs 10,000 over the next six months. Pic/PTI
EOW said Singh played an important role in the fraud, as he was not only the PMC bank chairman, but also an HDIL executive director at the same time. However, the decisions were taken by Thomas. Pic/Ashish Raje
EOW also searched residences of Waryam Singh and froze his DMAT account worth Rs 100 crore. Besides these, properties of HDIL worth Rs 3500 crore were also provisionally attached by the agency. Further raids found that HDIL directors Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan have a property of over 2.5 acres in Alibaug. Pic/Faizan Khan
Preliminary investigation indicates that a few PMC employees have tampered with the bank's software, owing to which 44 accounts mentioned in the FIR did not reflect in the banking system. On October 10, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman met the customers of the bank. Pic/PTI
The scam took a political turn where further raids on October 11 found that HDIL promoters gifted several flats and commercial spaces in Kaledonia, in Andheri (East), to families and friends of politicians holding portfolios in the central as well as the state government. Meanwhile, consumers have been protesting outside the court where the culprits are being tried.
Sources exclusively told mid-day that EOW has discovered that Thomas had operated under another identity – of Junaid Khan – which was used to purchase 10 properties, according to ANI. He converted to Islam and married his assistant as per Islamic rituals in 2012. Investigating agencies also found documents that suggest he had several investments under that name as well as his second wife. Thomas' second wife is said to own nine flats in Pune and a boutique. Meanwhile, a Mumbai court on Monday sent Waryam Singh and HDIL promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan to police custody till October 16.
The ongoing Rs 4,355-crore Punjab-Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank fraud has left many people in lurch, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) placed directions on the bank, and account holders could not withdraw their money. The scam unfolded after the bank's former MD Joy Thomas and chairman Waryam Singh were taken into custody by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), unearthing its nexus with the real estate development company HDIL. Here's how the case unfolded
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